Ok. This isn't a fully new topic, but I didn't find the answer I'm looking for.

A mate attended to a tactical medicine course. They said to him that behind-armor blunt trauma (BABT) and/or backface deformation (BFD) could mean pneumothorax or broken ribs in case of high velocity projectiles. I did a Google search and I find few things but not real data. They talk about experiments with animals, but not data from humans in the real life.



Is there any data about cases in humans? Is there really a feasible chance to get a pneumothorax, broken ribs, hemorrhage, according to real cases? or, is that just anecdotical and no reason to worry about  BABT or BFD when wearing body armor?

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Joined: 30DEC08      Location: SPAIN

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Original Post

Rib fracture, pulmonary contusion, dropped lung, cardiac contusion, pericardial tamponade; it's not a different case than looking at any other mechanism of ballistic or blunt trauma to the thorax.

I once saw a hemothorax from blunt trauma with a costosternal fracture that tore the internal mammary artery.

Freak shit happens all the time.

Even if your plates and ICW soft armor  performs at or above rating, shit happens.

The real world is full of injury mechanisms that docs see everyday that's never made it to one paper or case study.

The statement that backside deformation has the potential to cause chest injury is very correct.

I think it's always worth recalling that anything up to a hair below 44mm of backface deformation is considered perfectly fine by the NIJ 0101.06 standard. Most alternative standards coming out of the UK (HOSDB), Continental Europe (Germany in particular), and China all require below 25mm to "pass" while the Russian GOST 50774-95 Standard and the 50774-95 ADD. 2014 revision of that standard require 16mm or less. As long as capture of both energy and spalling is not compromised, less BFD is always better at equivalent threat ratings.

DocGKR shared a death involving soft armor stopping a projectile well above its rating, however the wearer still died as a result of blunt force trauma.

As JS7SFGA mentions it is quite possible. 

The armor has to stop the projectile for BFD to be an issue. 

Yeah, several I have directly heard of come to mind but not enough detail to find them as confirmed data (esp public source). 

Another interesting article for you: Origin of the 44-mm Behind-Armor Blunt Trauma Standard (PDF)

See section 2 here: Medical Management Guidelines for Impacts to Body Armor

Here is a report on BABT for helmeted head injuries , which may at least be a starting point? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25039407


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Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

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Though anecdotal and Richard Davis/Second Chance, and ran off the rails later, as among if not the first widely used soft body armor makers in the 70's shot himself (or was shot) multiple times.  Up to .44 Mag or whatever they were rated for, with no seeming ill affects. 

For a few years, his catalogs show pics of surviving officers who were wearing his vests and shot.  He also replaced the vests and would buy a S&W Mod 29 for those who killed their attacker, until his lawyers told,him that it might amount to a bounty and he stopped.  

I had two of his vests, before they went bad.  FWIW


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Joined: 29 May 2008          Location: AZ

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